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Importance of Non-Verbal Communication in Daily Life

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There exists a myth that when a person speaks, only 35% of their communication is verbal and the rest of the 65% is nonverbal. That’s not entirely true as it depends on the context and the situation. It is, however, absolutely true that nonverbal communication can make or break a message.

Non-verbal communication is way more powerful than verbal communication. While communicating, 95% of the impact is of our non-verbal actions like the way our body acts and reacts on different occasions and situations. 

Non-verbal communication has been classified into these following types based on different cues–

  1. Kinesics – a study of body movements including gestures, postures, and different facial expressions.
  2. Oculesics – a part of kinesics; the study of eye movement, eye-contact, eye behavior, gaze, and eye-related nonverbal communication It is effective communication through eye language.
  3. Haptics – related to touch which is the first communication humans experience. Haptics include hugs, kisses, and handshakes.
  4. Proxemics– the study of space. It involves how we arrange space and how it influences the way we relate to others. It also demonstrates relational standing with those around us.
  5. Paralanguage/Vocalics – the vocal but non-verbal dimension of speech. This involves vocal pitch, volume, inflection, rate of speech, and rhythm.
  6. Chronemics – is how humans communicate through their use of time. Good timing is very crucial while communicating. The study of chronemics involves punctuality, allocation of time to a particular event, speaking at the appropriate time, etc.
  7. Silence – serves as a kind of non-verbal communication when we do not use words or utterances to convey messages, rather our silence does the job.

Why is non-verbal communication important?

Each movement and combination of movements of the body – such as shifts in posture, the direction of the eyes, gestures of the limbs, and expressions on the face – provide signals to others. These cues may be subtle or obvious, and they can be contradictory: A person might say one thing while body language conveys an entirely different message.

Because nonverbal communication is often instinctive and typically not easy to fake, it is generally more indicative of a person’s true feelings. Hence, it is said to be the most important part of the communication process. Learn more about non-verbal communication here.

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Barriers in Effective Communication

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Communication is an exchange of message/code/signal or any other sign or expression that conveys one’s feelings, emotions, or thoughts.

This follows a step by step process including five important elements:

  1. Sender – the one who sends the message
  2. Message – the content which is being delivered
  3. Medium – the channel of the communication
  4. Receiver – to whom the message is being delivered
  5. Feedback – response from the receiver

Effective communication and barriers in communication

Communication always includes two parties – the sender and the receiver. The cycle of communication completes only when the receiver responds to the message of the sender. Now there comes one more concept called Effective Communication.

Communication is said to be effective when the receiver interprets the message in the exact way as to what the sender meant to say. It simply means eliminating miscommunication and misunderstandings.

However, some common barriers affect communication between individuals. Let’s understand what they are:

  • Cultural Barrier – Cultural gap or difference acts as a barrier to effective communication. People coming from different cultures find it difficult to communicate because of differences in the social backdrop, opinion, place of origin, language, and habits.
  • Language Barrier- Explaining and understanding is the biggest challenge in communication. The language barrier happens to be the most when you are in a foreign place. Also, words matter a lot while communicating. For a region or community, it may have a good meaning but the same word could be indecent in other languages.
  • Perceptual Barrier – We all see the world differently and hence have different perceptions. When a person is not able to understand the way others are communicating due to a difference in opinion and perceptions, it is called perceptual barrier. 
  • Emotional Barrier – Many people hold back from communicating their thoughts and feelings to others due to fear, mistrust, and suspicion. Some common examples of emotional barriers could be – the communication between parents and an adolescent/teenage child, communication between boss and employee, etc.
  • Technical Barrier – With the involvement of technology in communication, technical barriers have also become a major issue that breaks the chain of communication. Technical barriers are the network or internet issues that occur when communicating through an electronic device like mobile phones, computers, laptops, etc.

Learn more about barriers of communication here.

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Communication and its Types

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People communicate with each other in several ways depending upon the message and its context. Today, in this blog, I am going to explain the different types of communication classified based on mode, purpose, and participants. Let’s get started.

Communication-based on mode:

Verbal Communication means communication using language. This is further divided into two –

  1. Oral Communication – It is the oldest means of communication which involves gathering or disseminating information through spoken words. It can either be in the form of a direct face-to-face conversation or indirect conversation through video calls, voice calls, etc.
  2. Written Communication – It is a formal means of communication that includes writing letters, emails, SMS, documents, reports, etc. which can be kept as a source of reference or legal record.

Non-Verbal Communication is an exchange of information or message between two or more people through gestures, facial expressions, eye contact, proximity, touching, etc. It involves communication via sign language, body language, tone of voice, expressions, and so on.

Communication-based on purpose or style :

Formal Communication follows certain rules, conventions, and principals while communicating. The use of slang and foul language is strictly prohibited. An example of this can be office communication.

Informal Communication is just a casual talk that we have with our friends, family, and closed ones. Usually, informal communication is done orally and using gestures.

Communication-based on the number of participants :

Intrapersonal Communication occurs within an individual as to analyzing situations, self-talk, maintaining a daily diary, or a personal journal.

Interpersonal Communication is an exchange of information between two or more people.

Group communication refers to the interaction among individuals (group), and it may involve the exchange of verbal and non-verbal communication.

Mass Communication is a type of communication in which a person, group of people or an organization sends a message through a channel of communication in a large group of anonymous and heterogeneous people and organizations. 

To learn more about types of communication, click here.

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The Magic of Communication

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What do lightning and thundering indicate? Isn’t it giving you an indication of the coming of rain soon? That is how nature communicates with us.

Communication is a magical bridge that connects two living beings emotionally. All living beings communicate in some way or the other, which is proof to show that communication needs no language. For speechless creatures, communication is limited to understanding each other’s emotions to survive in this world whereas, for human beings, it is a lot more than that. It’s their bread and butter.

Humans have been communicating ever since the stone-age. That time, it was needed to survive in the world. It started as signs, symbols, lines, and shapes later evolving into a full-fledged language to speak and to calculate.

With this, the concept of Verbal and Non-Verbal communication emerged. Now, let me explain in brief what these are.

Verbal Communication is using language as a medium to communicate while NonVerbal Communication involves sign language, body language, tone of voice, expressions, etc.

What is the scope of communication?

The scope of communication is much wider than one can think. It is very important in our day-to-day life, for both personal and professional purposes. It plays a major role in building and maintaining social relations. 

Careers in Communication

Students looking for a career in the communications field can find these following opportunities in different media sectors:

Radio– Voice over artist, Radio Jockey, Announcer, Script Writer, Production Manager, etc.

Theatre, Television & Film – Script Writer, Screen Writer, Photographer, Art Director, Assistant Director, Film Director, etc.

Journalism – Anchor, Announcer, Correspondent, Reporter, Camera Person, Production Manager, News Writer, Editor, Proof Reader, Web Content Writer, etc. 

Advertising – Story Developer, Content Writer, Creative Writer, Screen Writer, Digital Media & Social media Handler, Marketing and Communications Manager, Media Manager, etc.

Public Relations – Public Relations Officer, PR Advisor, PR Manager, Communication Expert, Information Officer, etc.

Communication exists everywhere. It is just an act of expressing one’s thoughts or emotions to the other, whether it be a person, an animal, or nature itself. To understand more about communication and its scope as a career, click here